With a horrible start to the 2015-2016 NHL season, the Columbus Blue Jackets hope a coaching change will help their club turn it around.

By Jay Travers

A slow start to any season is never a good first stride, and this is exactly why the Columbus Blue Jackets have made such a drastic early season move.

A 0-7-0 start to the 2015-2016 season has put the Jackets at the bottom of the League standings, placing them on a list with some of the worst starts in the history of the League.

Columbus doesn’t want to be all alone at the bottom, so today they hired former Tampa Bay LightningNew York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella.

The defensive-minded coach, who has a nasty reputation with beat writers and post game interviewers, won a Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Lightning and led the Rangers to an East Conference Final appearance in 2012.


After being fired from the Rangers, Tortorella had a one season job with the Canucks in 2014. He failed miserably during the short stint.

To the here and now, if the Jackets want to make a massive comeback and make a remarkable difference in their club, there is going to have to be some major changes made.

The biggest change forthcoming? Defense.

The offensive coach, Todd Richards, wanted to have a hard forechecking team, with defenseman pinching from the top and all players with that offensive edge. This is no where near what Tortorella has in store.

Known for a hard hitting defense, players will need to be willing to take the body and block as many shots as they can. Getting pucks in deep and a up-down hockey game. One, two, three and out of the zone.

The thing about a defensive mindset is that every skater is going to have to hit and block, so Brandon Dubinsky is going to be putting up more blocked shots and hits now than last season. Dubinsky had only 20 blocks last year, where in New York, under Tortorella, he put up upwards of 30 blocks.

The relationship between Dubinsky and Tortorella hasn’t always been the best, however, Dubinsky told NHL.com that Tortorella has, “helped me immensely.”

All in all, the Columbus Blue Jackets have a serious chance at not having a very good season this year. However with the hiring of Tortorella, the Jackets now have a sliver of hope this season.

Tortorella doesn’t make life easy on his players, but he is one hell of a competitor. Does it come down to rings on his finger? He has one, some coaches don’t. It’s crunch time for the Jackets now.

With the next four of five games on the road, the Jackets’ time is running out to get out of the massive hole they have dug themselves in.

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